Cold-case gardai now probing 14 murders
FOURTEEN unsolved murder cases are under investigation by the gardai's cold-case review team.
And a number of files have already been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will determine if criminal charges should be brought as a result of the new inquiries.
The cases under review include high-profile murders such as the fatal shooting of Grace Livingstone at her home in Malahide, Co Dublin, almost 18 years ago, and the killing of teenager Raonaid Murray, whose body was found close to her home in Glenageary, Co Dublin, in September 1999.
But new inquiries are also being made into the murder of father-of-two Christopher Payne, from Rutland Grove, Crumlin in south Dublin, in May 1988.
Mr Payne was subjected to a savage beating by a gang of teenagers at his home.
Detectives are also stepping up their inquiries into the death of Clare woman Emer O'Loughlin, whose remains were exhumed in May, five years after she was killed.
A murder investigation was declared following a new post-mortem examination of the remains and a suspect is being sought across Europe. Her body was discovered in a burnt-out caravan in April 2005.
The cold case review, which resulted in a life sentence for Vera McGrath in the Central Criminal Court earlier this week, was the first murder "result" for the team.
She was convicted of the murder of her husband, Brian, at their home in Coole, Co Westmeath, 23 years ago.
The head of the team, Det Supt Christy Mangan told the Irish Independent last night that the successful prosecution of Vera McGrath would give great encouragement to the families of the victims that the killers of their loved ones could yet be brought to justice.
He said it could also assist in some of their other investigations.
"Every time there is media coverage of a cold-case inquiry we receive a considerable amount of contacts from people, who believe they may be able to provide some useful information about unsolved cases," Det Supt Mangan said. "We welcome these contacts; and every scrap of new information, however insignificant it might seem to the caller, is followed up by our team."
Other unsolved cases under review include the shooting of bookmaker Dessie Fox, who was shot dead as he drove to the Curragh races in September 1990.
The attack took place outside Prosperous, Co Kildare.
The team is also looking at the murder of Limerick taxi driver Henry Hurley, at Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, in July 1989 and the deaths of Eddie Fitzmaurice at his home in Bellaghy, Charlestown, Co Mayo, in May 1998; Lorcan O'Byrne at the Anglers Rest pub in Chapelizod, Dublin, in October 1981; and Nora Sheehan at Innishannon, Co Cork, in June 1981.